Industrial engineering is a complex profession requiring not only an extensive amount of knowledge, but also reliable equipment of the highest quality. The most critical components in any equipment are the seals, without them the system will simply not work.
Each industrial engineering application presents its own range of challenges, but to ensure efficiency, productivity and profitability it is especially important to specify the correct O-ring seal for actuators and pneumatic equipment.
If you work in an industrial setting and you require an elastomeric sealing solution, here are some key considerations when sourcing high quality O-rings.
Expert advice on selecting the right elastomer materials
Initially, you’ll want to select an O-ring supplier with a broad range of expertise across a variety of industrial sealing applications. For example, some sealing applications may require specific material grades in order to perform well under certain conditions, including:
- High and low temperature
- High pressure
- Aggressive chemical media
With a wide selection of different sealing materials available, getting good advice on each elastomer's specific capabilities is paramount.
How often do you need to replace an o-ring?
There’s no definitive answer on O-ring lifespans, as these can vary greatly depending on the time that the sealing material spends under stress, and a host of other factors. Having said this, a skilled sealing specialist will be able to suggest the grades which give the greatest chance of a long lifespan under typical operating conditions. By taking care to ensure your seals are manufactured from suitable materials in accordance with specific industry standards, you can expect elastomer seals to give a strong return on investment.
Industry standards you should be looking out for include, but are not restricted to:
FDA: Food and Drug Administration
3A 18-03: Sanitary Standards for dairy applications
USP Class VI: United States Pharmacopeia USP 26, NF21, 2003 Class VI (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
EC1935/2004 & EC2023/2006: EU regulations on food contact materials and articles
NORSOK M170: Explosive decompression and sour gas test standards
NACE: Explosive decompression and sour gas test standards
TOTAL GS PVV 142: Explosive decompression testing procedure for elastomer seals
EN549: Approved seals and diaphragms for gas appliances
‘Under one roof’ mentality
Selecting a manufacturing partner able to demonstrate a broad selection of capabilities under one roof could help to make your operations much more efficient.
A manufacturer of high performance sealing solutions should also be able to provide a comprehensive range of premium design, moulding and testing services. This way, you can have confidence that any developed sealing systems will deliver a good level of performance in real-world applications.
Other services to look out for from your seal manufacturers may include:
When researching manufacturing partners, it's important to get a feel for their culture. Ask yourself whether they look like they strive for continuous improvement. The certification known as UNI EN ISO 13485 can be an indicator of high-quality management systems covering design, development, manufacturing, control and logistics of products including seals, gaskets and elastomer material.
This certification demonstrates a company's ability to consistently provide products that meet customer requisites.
Designing the most reliable seal groove
During initial consultation with your chosen sealing partner, it is important to highlight anything relevant to the requirements of your application down to the smallest detail. This way, you have the best chance of a sealing solution which is the best fit for your application.
The sealing specialists at Novotema take pride in their extensive in-house laboratory testing which is central to developing the right materials and seal profiles to cover the application requirements of any customer.
Safety and awards
With reams of safety regulation involved in the manufacturing process of O-rings, it's important to be sure that the supplier’s safety guidelines are aligned with your own.
Novotema has taken every step to be a responsible manufacturer of O-rings and other sealing products, achieving OHSAS18001 certification in 2016. This gives you the peace of mind that the highest standards of safety are upheld throughout the business.